Cecily White

Call 2011


Cecily is a leading police junior who acts in the full spectrum of civil claims, including human rights, negligence and judicial review; inquests and inquiries; misconduct hearings and appeals.  She has represented clients in significant cases in the police law field and won a Rising Star award from the Solicitors Journal in 2016. Cecily has been consistently ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.  Referees have described her as a “standout” junior and a “great all-rounder for all police work.”


Cecily appears alongside Matthew Holdcroft in successfully defending a police investigation against allegations of negligence and breaches of Article 3 ECHR.  Please see here.


No interest on general damages in police actions
Read Cecily’s post on our UK Police Law Blog here


civil actions / applications

Cecily appears in cases involving allegations of assault/battery, unlawful stop and search, racial and sexual discrimination, false imprisonment, trespass to the person and to property, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, negligence, and breaches under the Human Rights Act 1998 (especially Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14 ECHR).  Many of her cases are high-profile and attract media attention.   She is currently instructed in a number of public order actions involving the arrests of members of protest groups.


Cecily appears in a wide range of misconduct cases, “fast track” hearings, appeals and related judicial review challenges, often against senior juniors and silks. She has a successful track record of presenting complex and sensitive cases. Cecily frequently advises on complaints, recordable conduct matters and referrals to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.


Cecily represents police forces in Article 2, judge-led and jury inquests. She has been junior counsel to Surrey Police in the fresh inquests ordered into the deaths of recruits at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002. Other notable cases have involved firearms, restraint, emergency response and psychiatric patients.


Cecily advises on police powers under PACE, RIPA and at common law. She has a growing practice in data protection and information law.

cases & work of note

Cecily’s notable police cases span civil claims, inquests and judicial review:

  • HD & Ors v Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police [2022] EWHC 1661 (QB)
    Successfully defending allegations that sexual abuse could have been prevented had the police properly investigated a report relating to the possession of indecent images of children on the basis that no duty of care was owed in negligence or pursuant to Article 3 ECHR.
  • ST v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire [2022] EWHC 1280 (QB)
    Important recent case concerning the application of the test for the necessity of an arrest in the context of a minor.
  • Undercover Policing Inquiry [ongoing]
    Junior counsel to Gerry Boyle KC on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
  • Needham & Fitzgibbons inquests [2022]
    Acting for the Chief Constable of Sussex Police in the inquests into the fatal shootings of Robert Needham, his partner and their two young children.  The inquests examined the circumstances in which RN came to be issued with a firearm and shotgun licence.  See here.
  • Inquests into the deaths of soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks [2016, 2018, 2019]
    Junior counsel to Surrey Police in three fresh inquests ordered following the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002. Click here for media coverage.
  • Parker v Essex Police [2018] EWCA Civ 2788
    Acting for Essex Police (led by John Beggs KC) in the compensation claim brought by Michael Parker (aka Barrymore) in respect of his arrest in 2007 following the death of Stuart Lubbock in March 2001. The Court of Appeal allowed the police appeal holding that, even though the arrest had been unlawful, Mr Parker was only entitled to nominal damages. Click here for media coverage.
  • Gray v Police Appeals Tribunal [2018] EWCA Civ 34
    Resisting the judicial review of a decision to bring fresh Part 4 misconduct proceedings against an officer acquitted in the Crown Court of serious sexual offences (led by John Beggs KC). The appeal concerned the use of Part 5 (“fast track”) misconduct proceedings where an officer has sustained a criminal conviction which is overturned on appeal.
  • Inquests into the deaths of soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks [2016, 2018, 2019]
    Junior counsel to Surrey Police in three fresh inquests ordered following the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002. Click here for media coverage.
  • Inquest touching the death of Sally Hodkin [2018]
    Acting for the Metropolitan Police Service in the inquest concerning the death of a woman killed by Nicola Edgington who had previously been convicted of manslaughter after killing her mother. Please see here for media coverage.
  • Mohidin & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWHC 2740 (QB)
    Allegations of racially aggravated assault, false imprisonment and breaches  of Articles  3, 8  and 14 ECHR, acting for the Commissioner (led by John Beggs KC) in the trial against the officers and related proceedings under CPR Part 20 seeking an indemnity from the impugned officers [2016] EWHC 105 (QB).  Authority on awards of damages in false imprisonment cases.
  • James-Bowen & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWHC 1249
    Strike out of claims in negligence and contract concerning the Commissioner’s conduct of civil litigation brought by Babar Ahmad.
  • Harpham v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police [2015]
    Two week trial involving allegations of unlawful detention under s. 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, breach of statutory duty and harassment.
  • Inquest touching the death of Estyna Blunnie [2015]
    Representing Essex Police at a 3 week jury inquest into the tragic death of a woman murdered by her former partner. Click here for press coverage.
  • Laporte & Christian v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 3574 (QB)
    Case clarifying the circumstances in which the police can go to the assistance of a body conducting a public meeting (led by George Thomas).


“Cecily has a very strong technical knowledge, and very good client care and communication skills. She is a pleasure to work with.”
Chambers & Partners 2024

“She gives sound and practical advice on very complex misconduct matters.”
Chambers & Partners 2024

“Cecily is very thorough and conscientious – a strong advocate.”
Chambers & Partners 2023

“Cecily was very organised, proactive and had good client care skills in conference.”
The Legal 500 2022

“She is a very articulate barrister and she has the personal touch. You feel you can be confident in her as a safe pair of hands no matter what might go wrong.”
Chambers & Partners 2022

‘She is able to quickly get to the root of the issues in the claim and provide both detailed and reassuring advice to clients and witnesses.’
The Legal 500 2022

“Commercially astute, a great all-rounder for all police work.”
Chambers & Partners 2021

‘A very bright junior with great potential.’
The Legal 500 2021

“She is noticeably good – junior but a standout. She is switched on, academic and intellectual.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

“She has this great ability to predict the right outcome. She then suggests things to be done tactically and has an unnerving tendency for that to be proven right, which is particularly impressive for a junior. Also, she stops at nothing for the client.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

‘She represents forces in inquests and civil claims.’
The Legal 500 2020

“She is hard-working, incredibly diligent, focused and someone who ensures that cases are brought to trial in top condition.”
Chambers & Partners 2019

“Extremely bright, easy to work with and very helpful.”
Chambers & Partners 2019

“Demonstrates an ability to understand her brief, undertake research and produce high-quality advice.” 
Chambers & Partners 2018

“She is very bright” 
Chambers & Partners 2018

“Her written work is superb.”
Chambers & Partners 2017

“She is very clever and explains her points well so that laypeople can understand.”
Chambers & Partners 2017